Gorgeous Greater Manchester street has gone back in time in more ways than one
10.02.2024 - 08:11
Colleen Clegg is sat on the settee in Bohemia Cottages, the home she's lived in almost all her life. "There are a lot of memories here," she says gesturing around the timber-framed room.
"I can't believe it's been 60 years. Your life just flashes in front of you."
And it's not just Mrs Clegg's memories. If the walls of cottages could talk they'd have some story to tell.
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Built in 1721, they're the oldest houses in Stalybridge and sit at the foot of Cocker Hill, the town's first street.
Stephanie Mellor and her husband Alan moved into a former weaver's cottage on Cocker Hill after getting married in 1997. Intrigued by her new 18th Century home she began researching its history.
Pretty soon she'd uncovered all manner of fascinating stories. And that led to her set up a blog exploring Cocker Hill's colourful past.
"I got interested in local history once we moved in," she said. "I simply wanted to know how old the house was – I naively just walked into the local studies library to ask – they gave me tips on where to start.
"I approached our mortgage company to ask what the deeds said and the invited me in to view them.
"It was a huge stack of handwritten documents dating back to 1750, when it was first sold. Even the spelling of Stalybridge wasn’t fixed back then – some say Staley Bridge and even Staveley Bridge.
"I then started to collect stories about the area from locals and history books." There were plenty of tales to get stuck into.
Over the last 300 years the steep cobbled road on the outskirts of the town centre, has been at the centre of the Industrial Revolution. It's seen riots and body-snatchers and been home to a Victoria Cross